Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join this side event on “Enhancing Capacity of Landlocked Developing Countries”. Its focus on climate change, energy and water-related challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, is most timely.
The pandemic pushed about 120 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. It reversed past development and economic gains, with poor and disadvantaged groups bearing the greatest brunt. And, it exposed the gaps in access to clean water distribution and electricity supply.
In landlocked developing countries, over half of the total land is dryland. Agriculture is the major sector providing employment – around 44 per cent, on average. LLDCs have to bear the high costs of cross-border energy trade, and energy transit. Water, food and energy security is critical for their existence.
Indeed, water is essential for energy production, electricity and hydropower generation. And water use efficiency depends on efficient food production. In arid regions, glaciers and snow cover are precious water sources. Yet, as climate change marches on, they are quickly disappearing, impacting water supply and management, food production, and energy consumption.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Water Action Decade, 2018-2028, is addressing these critical challenges. Its aim – to achieve sustainable development and integrated management of water resources – promotes efficient water usage at all levels. This also means taking into account the water, food, energy, environment nexus.
Significantly, the United Nations will convene the 2023 Water Conference, to review the first half of the Decade, as well as water related SDGs. This Conference, to take place in New York, in March 2023, will be the first UN conference solely dedicated to water for nearly a half century, after the Mar del Plata Water Conference, in 1977.
All Member States and relevant stakeholders, especially those in vulnerable situations, must fully utilize this opportunity. Landlocked developing countries need global support of financial and technical assistance, and capacity development. Such support is essential for tackling their geographical challenges, and to help deliver the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
Thank you for your attention, and my best wishes for the success of this important event.
I thank you.